Thermal imaging, also called infrared imaging, is a modern technology that displays the heat signature of items or areas. Thermal imaging in home inspections helps a home inspector detect issues that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
The infrared camera displays colorful images which can indicate problems, defects, and safety hazards in the home. The heat signatures help an inspector determine if there is energy loss, moisture, hot spots, and other problems. Ask your home inspector if he or she uses thermal imaging during inspections.
Thermal Imaging in Home Inspections Can Detect Energy Loss
When using a thermal imaging camera, the photos can show areas of energy loss. This can happen around windows and doors, in exterior walls, and in the attic. Resealing around windows and doors may be necessary. It can also indicate areas that may be missing insulation. Insulation may need to be supplemented in the attic to improve energy-efficiency. The HVAC system will have to work harder if insulation is lacking, which can decrease the life of the unit. Furthermore, energy bills will be higher.
Discover Moisture Issues
Some leaks are obvious because of damp areas or staining on the walls or ceiling. In other cases, water leaks aren’t visible. A thermal imaging camera can detect areas with lower temperatures that indicate moisture and leaks. If moisture goes undetected it can lead to expensive structural damage or mold growth.
Electrical Hot Spots are Revealed by Thermal Imaging
An infrared camera can help detect electrical problems and safety hazards. Hot spots in the electrical system show up as warmer areas in the image. Because electrical issues can lead to fire, discovering them can save lives. Some electrical problems that may be detected include overloaded circuits, damaged wiring, and overheating outlets or switches.
Thermal Imaging in Home Inspections Can Detect a Pest Infestation
Thermal imaging can also detect pest or rodent infestations. Wood-destroying insects can chew through wood or other material and cause energy loss. The thermal camera might also detect the heat from a rodent nest or moisture from an insect infestation.
Home inspectors who use thermal imaging have a unique advantage during the inspection process. Your report will contain images displaying heat signatures so you can better understand the inspector’s findings.